Eugene, (Gene) E. Cortright


Eugene E Cortright, “Gene,” entered into God’s Kingdom on April 30, 2023, at the age of 95, surrounded by his immediate family. He was born Aug. 17, 1927, to Gladys and Emerson Cortright in Hastings, Mich. Devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, Gene is survived by his loving wife Joan; daughter Lisa (Rob); granddaughters Michelle Gammino and Ashley Dieleman (Jeff); grandsons Greg Gammino, Trey Foster (Andrea) and John Foster (Kristy); and great grandchildren Lauren, Charlotte, Davis, Avery, Kade and Brooke. His daughter, Cynthia Covin, preceded him in death.

Gene attended a one-room schoolhouse in rural Michigan through the fifth grade. Upon graduation from Bellevue High School in 1944, Gene served in the US Army 11th Airborne Division during WWII. Gene met the love of his life, Joan, following his military service in Japan. They married 74 years ago on July 3, 1949. The GI bill facilitated Gene’s further education. He received a BA from Kalamazoo College and his master’s degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1955.

Gene began his professional career as a foreign affairs analyst for the federal government and leveraged these skills and experiences successfully in the oil and gas industry. His career path moved the family to Virginia; Washington state; New York; Paris, France; and Oklahoma before retiring to his beloved Pagosa Springs in 1984. He quickly became involved in his new community by serving in a variety of organizations including Rotary, the Archuleta County GOP and the local road committee.

Gene’s love of the outdoors prompted frequent hikes in the national forest, great appreciation for wildlife and a passion for landscaping.

All of Gene’s caregivers made a significant, positive impact on his life and those of his loved one’s over the past year. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mercy Home Health and Hospice. A memorial service is planned for this summer.